re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zən(t)s How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) , -sən(t)s \

Definition of reconnaissance

: a preliminary survey to gain information especially : an exploratory military survey of enemy territory

Examples of reconnaissance in a Sentence

There are two helicopters available for reconnaissance. They did a reconnaissance of the enemy's position.
Recent Examples on the Web As Schoville learned, Baker, who had been a warrant officer, earned an Army commission and went back to Vietnam for a second tour flying low-level reconnaissance missions. Andrew Dyer, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Decades after being shot on Veterans Day in 1969, soldiers reunite at grave of lost comrade," 11 Nov. 2020 But the need to follow COVID-19 health guidelines was emphasized after five employees of the operations center, which runs hurricane reconnaissance missions out of Lakeland Linder International Airport, tested positive for COVID-19. Joe Mario Pedersen,, "2020 hurricane hunting evolves with new technology in light of COVID-19 safety concerns," 14 Sep. 2020 Russians scramble jets to intercept U.S. plane: Russia scrambled an Su-27 fighter jet to intercept a U.S. RC-135 reconnaissance plane flying over neutral waters in the Black Sea, the RIA news agency reported, citing Russia's Defense Ministry. Washington Post, "World Digest: Nov. 28, 2020," 28 Nov. 2020 The squadron also launches daily weather balloons and reconnaissance aircraft on flight days to collect information in the upper atmosphere that can push a rocket off course. Abraham Mahshie, Washington Examiner, "The space weather experts who give the go-ahead on when to launch and avoid disaster," 28 Nov. 2020 Early Sunday, a reconnaissance aircraft found that Iota had strengthened into the 13th hurricane of the 2020 Atlantic hurricane season. James Rogers, Fox News, "Hurricane Iota to bring 'potentially catastrophic' winds, dangerous storm surge to Central America," 15 Nov. 2020 Thwarting an enemy reconnaissance flier took more than simply covering the factory building. Cory Graff, Popular Mechanics, "How Hollywood Set Designers Hid America’s WWII Aircraft Factories," 8 Nov. 2020 Crews began working in the canyon early last week starting with a reconnaissance team, including arborists, to help identity hazardous trees. oregonlive, "Beachie Creek fire victims get help with hazardous waste cleanup in aftermath," 29 Oct. 2020 On February 13, 1966, a high-altitude reconnaissance drone flew a top-secret mission over Vietnam. David Hambling, Popular Mechanics, "The 200 Millisecond Mission: Inside the Secret CIA Plan to Steal Soviet Missile Data," 28 Oct. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'reconnaissance.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of reconnaissance

1779, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for reconnaissance

French, literally, recognition, from Middle French reconoissance, from Old French reconoistre to recognize

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Time Traveler for reconnaissance

Time Traveler

The first known use of reconnaissance was in 1779

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Statistics for reconnaissance

Last Updated

17 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Reconnaissance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for reconnaissance


How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of reconnaissance

: military activity in which soldiers, airplanes, etc., are sent to find out information about an enemy


re·​con·​nais·​sance | \ ri-ˈkä-nə-zəns How to pronounce reconnaissance (audio) \

Kids Definition of reconnaissance

: a survey (as of enemy territory) to get information

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